‘Yellowstone’: The Real-Life Dutton Ranch Gives Incredible Look at ‘One of Our Favorite’ Pics of the Property

by Caitlin Berard

Though the hit western Yellowstone features a fictional family, the ranch on which the show is filmed is completely real! The real Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is a 2,500-acre guest ranch in Darby, Montana, called Chief Joseph Ranch.

Providing the setting for most of the indoor scenes in Yellowstone, the Chief Joseph Ranch can be seen in scenes showing the lodge, barns, bunkhouse, and trapper’s cabin. According to the Chief Joseph Ranch website, the ranch is also used as a family home. “Watched by millions, the lodge has become a character in its own right, representing an iconic 104 year old western Montana home. In between filming, the working Montana ranch doubles as a guest ranch and a family home.”

In celebration of April 6, Chief Joseph Ranch posted a gorgeous photo of the property to Instagram depicting a herd of cattle meandering on its sprawling fields with a double rainbow stretching across the sky overhead.

Now, you might be thinking, why celebrate April 6? National Beer Day isn’t until April 7! Well, Montana’s population is so low that they only need one area code – “406”.

Darby, Montana, the town that houses the iconic ranch, has a population of about 700 people. For comparison, Golden Oak Ranch, one of the filming locations for Dallas, is located in Newhall, California. The relatively small town in Los Angeles County has a population of over 34,000 people.

‘Yellowstone’ Dutton Ranch Owner Gives an Inside Look at Chief Joseph Ranch

While watching Yellowstone, it’s easy to forget that Yellowstone Dutton Ranch isn’t a real place. Well, it is, but you won’t find John Dutton and the rest of the Dutton clan when you visit the property in Darby, Montana. Instead, you’ll likely find Shane Libel, the current owner of Chief Joseph Ranch.

As Libel’s home serves as a filming location for most of the year, frustration with Yellowstone and its cast and crew would be understandable. On the contrary, however, Libel feels the experience is a positive one. So much so, in fact, that he and his family leave the Dutton Ranch sign up even when the show isn’t filming.

In an interview with Paramount, Shane Libel discussed what it feels like to see his home on TV every week. “The most surreal thing in the world,” Libel said. “The most humbling thing in the world, is when you’re sitting in your own living room watching a show that’s filmed in your house. If you think about it too much, it’s just…phew.”

“We have hundreds of people that come by and take photos of the Dutton Ranch sign, oftentimes through the gates,” Libel continued. “But we leave them up all year round. We run the ranch as a guest ranch from June through August, and we have horses and cows and we sell hay. We do all the things that a ranch does.”